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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Big Drop in Exports to China

China, which had been the largest growth market for Norwegian seafood exports, have dropped sharply in recent months. Salmon exports alone to China fell by 69 per cent when compared to August last year, according to figures issued. Other types of seafood have suffered almost as much. Seafood sales to China in August totalled 7,600 tonnes and were worth NOK 214 million (€186m.). This is a volume decrease of 43 per cent and a drop in value of 54 per cent. By contrast, sales to France have increased by 20 per cent, particularly for home consumption.

Unstable Antarctic Glacier Sliding Into Ocean

British Antarctic Survey scientists have reported that one of the largest, most unstable glaciers in Antarctica is sliding into the ocean due to hidden rivers of warm water that lubricate its underbelly. Hidden beneath the ice shelf, they are deeper than expected, some are more than 800 metres (2,600 feet) deep," according to the head of the research team, Tom Jordan, an aero-geophysicist with the Antarctic Survey. “They form the critical link between the ocean and the glacier, Thwaites Glacier, a vast brick of ice flowing into Pine Island Bay in Western Antarctica has moved toward the ocean its entire existence, but that rate of motion has increased five-fold over the last 30 years. That lost ice has contributed to about 4% of global sea level rise over those three decades. If the entire glacier were to collapse into the ocean, sea levels would increase by about 25 inches(65 centimetres). This dramatic increase could devastate coastlines.”

Research Shows That Warming Oceans Will Change Fish Locations

Because warmer waters, predicted under climate change, will contain less oxygen, there could be major changes in where a wide variety of marine species, from vertebrates to crustaceans to molluscs will inhabit in the future. This is because the widest variety of species live where the oceans are most breathable, according to new research funded by three major organisations in the USA, State and independent. "Temperature alone does not explain where in the ocean species can live," according to the scientist leading the research team, Curtis Deutsch, Associate Professor of Oceanography at the University of Washington. “Oxygen must be considered – how much of it is in the water, how well an organism can take up and utilise i, and how temperature affects these processes. Oxygen levels and water temperature combine to determine which parts of the ocean are breathable for different ocean-dwelling creatures. This research shows that a wide variety of marine animals -- from vertebrates to crustaceans to mollusks -- already inhabit the maximum range of breathable ocean that their physiology will allow.”

Seaweed Bacteria Making ‘Eco’ Detergent

Researchers at Newcastle University in England have developed an enzyme made by bacteria that live on seaweed as an environmentally friendly detergent. They studied how the bacteria released itself from the seaweed using what they described as a “phophodiessterase enzyme” which broke down sticky molecules present on the surface of the seaweed. In association with Procter & Gamble it had been turned into a natural cleaner for washing clothes.

• Read more interesting stories in the International News section of the MARINE TIMES October edition in the shops now and also online.